Long-term care planning: Often ignored but critically needed

Hundreds of thousands of people in Georgia and throughout the United States die without ever having executed final wills and testaments. Similarly, many elders ignore the need for long-term care planning, which can cause a lot of complications in their lives when sudden needs arise that they are not prepared to meet. There are several significant reasons why so many older people ignore this late-life issue.  

Beyond the physical changes people's bodies undergo, especially once they reach age 70 and beyond, older people also face many emotional struggles as well. They often want to hold on to their independence as much as possible. This, in fact, is a major reason many elders don't want to think about (much less execute plans) for long-term care.  

Assisted living is expensive; that's no secret. Hearing stories from friends regarding financial crises or other problems leaves many elders feeling like they'd rather scrape by with less food, less travel or other personal sacrifices than think about how potentially costly long-term care might be. However, lack of planning can often lead to serious financial crises that may have been averted had those involved thought ahead and taken steps to protect their assets.  

Long-term care planning can be customized to serve the needs and goals of each person's particular situation. Nowadays, people in Georgia and elsewhere are living longer, creating increased risk for dementia and other conditions that may necessitate living assistance. In fact, approximately six out of 10 people will need long-term care at some point in their lives. The good news is that there are support resources available to help people navigate the process. 

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